Aug 23, 2019

Transform your dorm

Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune

Turning a dorm room into a personal oasis can be challenging enough, let alone having to keep organized and up to date with trends.

Many college students experience living on their own for the first time in a sparsely furnished dorm room.

According to, room dimensions range anywhere from 9 by 12 feet to 11 by 15 feet.

The university provides each resident with the standard items — bookcase, chairs, coffee table, couch, desk, dresser, twin bed, wastebasket and a micro fridge to be shared with roommates. However, residents must provide their own pillow, blankets, sheets, and towels.

For many first time students, living in an undersized dorm room is hardly worth looking to look forward to. Students should make the most of what little space they have while being practical.

Interior Design major Lacy Barnes suggests buying items that can be used for dual purposes.

“A bookshelf can hold school supplies and double as a nightstand,” Barnes said.

Vertical shelves serve a multi-functional purpose since dorms have limited floor space.

Barnes recommends utilizing the walls.

Filling empty space allows for more storage and also adds height to a typically congested room.

“Baskets or bins from Dollar Tree are an inexpensive form of storage for odds and ends,” Barnes said.

Wal-Mart also carries affordable plastic drawers starting at $7 you can stack on top of one another to save space.

Finding décor that suits your taste can be fun and affordable, according Wal-Mart’s Department Manager of Domestics Sandra Martinez.

Martinez suggests making your bed the central focus of the room.

According to bed sets start as low as $29 depending on your taste and budget.

“Bright colors with patterned curtains and reversible bedding will instantly liven up your dorm,” Martinez said. “You don’t have to spend a lot to get cool stuff.”

Interior Design major Rebecca Arredondo recommended using vibrant colors as well, she said it will add light to bare walls.

Arredondo suggested adding your own personal touch such as your favorite throw blanket, beanbag chair or lamp instantly distinguishes a bedroom from a dorm room.

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